Guest Blogger, Terri Marascio – President, Mint Marketing Solutions
You really can’t escape social media. And, it seems like everyone is telling you that you should ‘be on Facebook’, ‘get an Instagram page’ and be ‘tweeting’ 5 times a day. But what if you personally aren’t on social media, or like many…just don’t like it or simply don’t have the time to be on it?
Well, there is something to be said about these channels that provide an instant connection and communication to your future and current customers for a very small to zero monetary investment. The captive audience and ability for people to research you in a few clicks and see your reviews and work are incredibly powerful.
However, if you are still kicking and screaming to hit that blue ‘f’ button*…here are 3 options:
*’f’ for Facebook
Option #1: Build a Strong Email List and Use It. Often.
Research is still showing that email can provide a better return on your investment than social media in certain industries. Emails are a one-on-one conversation with someone that’s invited you into their private space. They have either asked to be on your list, have met you, or have done business with you before. Give them what they want and talk to them weekly – at least monthly if you don’t have the time or don’t have ‘much to say’. MailChimp is a great way to start. FREE up to 2,000 contacts. Continue to collect email addresses from contests, events, clients, shows, etc.
Option #2: Build and Maintain a Kick Butt Website
If you love your website, have invested time, money, photography, copy, blog posts, email newsletter collection areas, forums, videos, etc. then promote the heck out of it. It’s your hub. It can be your universe. However, don’t keep it a secret! Refer to it often in your email blasts (see #1), optimize it with incredible copy that will help you be found on Google, Bing, etc. Hire an SEO or SEM company to pull you to the top of what your ideal client is looking for online. Keep up with your blogs, and never let it go stale. Install a pop up with a discount or helpful checklist/freebie in exchange for their email address (see #1..again). Capture the data and analyze on Google Analytics. Learn more about your customers and adjust marketing to target them better. In addition, working with a company to help serve your banner ads to people who have visited your website already can help keep you top of mind – this is called retargeting – and these ads can even be pushed to social media.
Option #3: Go Old School
Old school – what does that mean? It depends on where your business is located, and your competition, plus your resources, but consider print, radio, postcard mailings, ‘welcome’ mailer services, billboards, local trade shows, sponsoring events, and good ol’ fashioned networking, hand shaking, business card dropping off. You get the picture. Some of these really are expensive, and hard to determine your ROI, but they very well could bring in your bread and butter (ahem..for catering…).
At the end of the day, you should probably be doing all 3 of these in addition to social media.
If you say – phew, this seems tough, social media might be ‘easier’, don’t view it quite like that. Do what YOU can do or like. If you can’t, hire someone to help.